Immigration

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The irony of Britons complaining about being colonised by Europe. "...and in the end, Britain, which had colonized the world, destroyed itself in fantasies that it was being colonized in turn" — historians.

  • 1996: Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck's colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. (6 mins) Roy Beck, NumbersUSA.

Ageing Population

  • Apr.09.2018: More migrant workers needed to offset ageing population, says IMF. The International Monetary Fund has said advanced economies such as Britain, the US and Japan risk being overwhelmed by their ageing populations, and calls on them to throw open their borders to more migrant workers in response. Within the next few decades, working-age adults will need to support double the number of elderly people than they do now, putting immense pressure on welfare systems and wiping out as much as 3% of potential economic output by 2050. Net annual migration of EU nationals to Britain fell by 75,000 in the year to Sept.2017, according to the ONS. The govt's economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, estimates healthcare spending in the UK will need to almost double from 6.9% of GDP in the early 2020s to 12.6% by the mid-2060s because of the demographic shift. The Resolution Foundation thinktank estimates the public purse will be out of pocket by about £160bn by the mid-2060s as the number of people over 65 grows by almost a third, while the working age population is expected to only increase by about 2%. The IMF said govts could attempt to counter the demographic timebomb through better policies to help people balance family life with work. It also called for more investment in education to get people into work and boost their chances of staying in a job longer. There have been steady increases in the number of women entering the workforce in recent decades, as shifting cultural norms and govt policies encourage them to stay in work after childbirth and for longer into their careers. For the median advanced economy, the female labour force participation rate had increased by close to 10% since 1985. Richard Partington, The Guardian.

Housing Demand

  • Apr.15.2018: Migrants, house prices and the dog that hasn’t barked. The assertion of housing minister Dominic Raab that immigration has pushed up house prices by 20% over the past 25 years seems to have been almost calculated to cause controversy. The claim, which appears to have been derived from a model used by a quango that was abolished in 2010, has attracted a predictable barrage of criticism from housing experts. On a superficial level, however, the argument makes a lot of sense. Raab’s job is to try to raise the annual supply of new homes from 217,000 to 300,000, a figure that commentators on left and right agree is necessary. This need exists because there are more of us than ever before. The UK population grew from 57.4m in 1991 to 65.6m in 2016, with 55% of the rise a direct result of net migration. Look a little closer, though, and his assertions start to look a little shaky. More importantly, so does much of the received wisdom about Britain’s housing crisis. There is a fundamental weakness in the “immigration drives up house prices” narrative. Rents, not house prices, are the best measure of demand for housing. Ian Mulheirn, a former Treasury economist who is now at the consultancy Oxford Economics, has sought to dismantle the case that there is a housing shortage in a series of reports. Mulheirn’s arguments represent a significant challenge to the consensus that building hundreds of thousands of new homes is the best way to address the affordability crisis. If we really want to blame foreigners for pricing us out of our own housing market, the Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern investors who have snapped up prime London property would be a more appropriate target than immigrants coming here to work. ... the increasing “financialisation” of property — the transformation of houses from places to live into investment assets. Britons have long regarded their homes as part of their pension pots. The whole notion of the “housing ladder” is predicated on the idea that getting a foot on the bottom rung will help us to save for retirement. The introduction of buy-to-let mortgages in 1996 helped to supercharge this tendency. Wealthier homeowners who had paid off their mortgages and wanted to continue saving could easily buy another property, creating a generation of accidental landlords. All eyes should now be on the Bank of England. Interest rates have risen once since their record lows, and a further increase is widely expected next month. Higher interest rates, not an immigration crackdown, will be the true test of the housing market boom. Tommy Stubbington, The Times.

Border Control

  • Aug.02.2011: NHS Pulls the Plug on its £11bn IT System (IT Disasters). The E-Borders scheme was originally created to check passenger details against UK police immigration watch lists. The govt tore up supplier Raytheon's £742m contract on the e-Borders immigration programme in Jun.2011, after delays led the Home Office committee to say it had "no confidence" in the company. Cost: £118m. Oliver Wright, The Independent.

Windrush / Commonwealth Immigration

  • Feb.07.2019: Home Office Windrush fund helped only one person by end of 2018. Only one person had been granted emergency financial support by the Home Office’s Windrush hardship fund by the end of last year. Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the home affairs select committee, said “For the special hardship fund only to have helped one person by the end of last year is shocking". The committee recommended last June that a hardship fund should be set up to help those people facing becoming destitute, severely in debt or homeless as a result of the government’s decision to classify them as illegal immigrants, preventing them from working or receiving benefits. Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian.
  • Oct.01.2018: May, the enforcer, continues to blame Windrush victims for their fate. After Amber Rudd was made May's scapegoat, Sajid Javid took over amid a media storm of apologies. But nothing has changed: the Windrush generation is still caught up in the hostile, sorry, compliant environment. Last week, it was revealed that some were still being denied British passports, despite having inalienable citizenship rights. Javid stated that some failed a "necessary good character requirement" because they had committed criminal offences. This is something that anyone born in the UK will never have to go through. By twinning illegal immigration and bad character with the Windrush scandal in the public mind, it becomes easier to argue the government was just doing its job to protect citizens from fence jumpers and ex-cons. It becomes easier to divert attention away from the actual policies, some of which have led to millions of taxpayer pounds being paid in compensation for human rights violations in illegal detention. The system was not cleansed. Sajid Javid is stipping people of their rights and then blaming them for it. Nesrine Malik, The Guardian.
  • Aug.28.2018: Home Office offered bonuses to Windrush firm, documents reveal. Incentivised contract gave Capita 2.5% bonus if target for removals exceeded - , rising to 12.5% if the total exceeded the target by 10%. Capita had two separate contracts with the Home Office. One involved the detention and removal of migrants; the other was for contact management and casework. As part of the latter contract, which ran from 2012 to 2016, and involved contacting and processing the cases of suspected illegal immigrants, Capita had an “outcome based payment mechanism”. One document the committee published reveals that the Home Office gave the firm overall incentives to beat removal targets. “The authority wants to incentivise the contractor to increase the numbers of removals as part of the service, and to decrease other outcomes,” it says. A series of letters between Harriet Harman and Sajid Javid]] show Harman pressing the Home Office to proactively contact Windrush citizens who had been wrongly detained to tell them that they could see files about themselves that might help their cases, which Javid declined. Peter Walker, Heather Stewart, The Guardian.
  • Jun.01.2018: Windrush victims 'should be compensated' for psychological impact. Martin Forde QC, who was appointed by the home secretary in May to advise on how to compensate people who lost their jobs or homes, or were detained or deported after being wrongly classified as illegal immigrants, said he was also looking at the wider impact on people’s lives. Victims of the Windrush scandal should be compensated for the devastating psychological impact of missing funerals and relationships collapsing, the barrister in charge of devising a compensation scheme for the 5,000 or more people affected has said. Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian.
  • Apr.24.2018: How Amber Rudd let 'heartbreaking' Windrush suffering drag on. Home secretary Amber Rudd fails to acknowledge why it took so long to tackle the horrendous problems being experienced by Windrush victims. It is remarkable that she finally decided that the victims’ stories were heartbreaking. In the space of eight days, the government has executed an astonishing reassessment of its relaxed attitude towards the profound suffering of a generation of Windrush citizens. Rudd devoted some time to a distasteful buck-passing exercise, listing Labour initiatives aimed at tackling illegal immigration, missing the point that the key injustice of the Windrush tragedy is that people who were here entirely legally have been hit repeatedly by her department’s actions. Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian.
  • Apr.20.2018: Windrush scandal: mounting criticism sours Commonwealth summit for Theresa May. Theresa May is facing increasing pressure over her “knee-jerk” approach to immigration and her handling of the Windrush scandal in a development that threatens to overshadow the final day of the Commonwealth summit. The prime minister’s record as home secretary, her job between 2010 and 2016, was attacked by former ministers and immigration officials this morning. The chorus of criticism threatens to exacerbate tensions between Mrs May and Commonwealth leaders as an already testing summit reaches its conclusion. Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, told The Times yesterday that the way people had been denied services and threatened with deportation reflected a “deeper cultural problem” (racism). David Laws, former Liberal Democrat minister, blamed a “cavalier pledge” from Mrs May and David Cameron to cut migrant numbers for the scandal. Lucy Moreton, the head of the ISU immigration workers’ union, said that border staff were no longer able to use their discretion with Windrush immigrants after Mrs May suspended Brodie Clark, the head of the UK Border Agency, in 2011. Patrick Maguire, The Times.
  • Apr.18.2018: Whistleblowers contradict No 10 over destroyed Windrush landing cards. Home Office claims that the destruction of Windrush-era landing cards in 2010 had no impact on the rights of those individuals to stay in the UK have been dramatically undermined by the evidence of two new whistleblowers. Their accounts have been further supported by the emergence of Border Force guidance, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that appears to contradict the govt’s justification of a decision to destroy an archive of Windrush-era arrival slips. Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian.
  • Apr.01.2018: Post war 'mass migration' myths and realities, a thread. First thing to note: The 1948 British nationality act made citizens of the entire British Commonwealth, with (theoretically) the same rights, including the right to work and live in Britain. You will often hear British people being given space to go on TV (unchallenged by anyone who knows better) to talk of British citizens as being 'post war mass migration'. However they conveniently forget that between the end of the war and mid/late 60's 1.5 million domestic Brits accepted state subsidised migration to Canada, NZ, AUZ, ZIM & SA at a cost of £7.5 million (back then)... Original thread is here. @AkalaMusic, Twitter.

Articles

  • Sept.25.2018: Portugal agrees to take 10 rescue ship migrants amid European divide. Aquarius heads for Malta after France rejects requests to allow it to dock in Marseille. ... The Aquarius is the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe. Last month, it spent 19 days docked in Marseille after Gibraltar revoked its flag, but set sail again last week after acquiring Panamanian recognition. On Monday, however, Panamanian authorities revoked the vessel’s registration in a move described by Médecins Sans Frontières and SOS Méditerranée, as “a major blow” to its humanitarian mission. They claimed that Panama was forced to revoke the registration after coming under pressure from the Italian government. Salvini has denied his government was responsible. Sam Jones, Agencies, The Guardian.
  • Jul.16.2018: Widowed father ordered to leave UK against advice of Home Office's own lawyers. Andrew Farotade refused leave to remain under rules intended to tackle terrorism. The Home Office’s own lawyers advised them to drop the case. The Home Office made errors by comparing part of Farotade’s gross earning to his net earnings, then accusing Farotade of deceit when the different periods resulted in different incomes. The Home Office also said Farotade had been dishonest by amending his tax records when he discovered an error, despite his accountant writing to the Home Office to admit liability. The HMRC, in contrast, accepted Farotade’s amendment without censure, and an independent chartered accountant submitted expert evidence that it is not deceitful to amend tax returns. Farotade’s case is important because it highlights what appears to be the disproportionate use of paragraph 322(5) and the tactical way the Home Office uses it to enforce removals, even against the advice of their own lawyers. ... Caroline Nokes, immigration minister, recently said the interim results of the review showed that the controversial paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules was overwhelmingly only being used against migrants who had abused the system. She also wrote to the Home Affairs select committee to say that the majority of cases that go to the second stage of judicial review are decided in the Home Office’s favour. But what she didn’t say is that the Home Office frequently agrees to reconsider cases and pay applicants’ legal costs just before the second stage is due to be heard. The Home Office do not have to justify their use of Section 322(5). Amelia Hill, The Guardian.
  • Jun.20.2018: Minister accused of misleading MPs in deportations row. Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, has been accused for a third time of incompetence and misleading parliament over the Home Office’s use of counter-terrorism powers to deport highly skilled migrants who have made legitimate amendments to their tax records. In a heated debate at Westminster Hall last week, MPs challenged Nokes about the usage of paragraph 322(5) of the immigration rules. She responded that no applications to overturn decisions had been successful at judicial review and only 38 appeals had been allowed, “mostly on human rights grounds”. Nokes also said all current cases were on hold. However, the Guardian revealed last week that only a small number of current cases were on hold and large numbers of people were still fighting against deportation. As for appeals, immigration law states they can be made only on human rights grounds. In addition, politicians and lawyers have rejected Nokes’ claim that no challenges have been successful at judicial review, pointing to two cases in the past few weeks alone. Alison Thewliss, the SNP MP for Glasgow Central, said “It is clear that the minister for immigration has misled the house. Regardless of whether this is deliberate or through incompetence, she must set the record straight, and do so immediately". Steve Reed, the Labour MP for Croydon North and the shadow minister for civil society, who also has constituents fighting against 322(5), said: “Either she [Nokes] doesn’t know what her department is doing in her name or she is attempting to mislead MPs. Whichever of those is true, it calls into question her ability to do the job she holds.” In May, she was accused of “shambolic incompetence” after the Guardian revealed letters she had written to constituency MPs undermined her evidence to the home affairs committee that she had only recently become aware of the 322(5) scandal (link). Amelia Hill, The Guardian.
  • Apr.18.2018: No 10 Blames Labour for Windrush Scandal, Then Backtracks After May Misleads Parliament. Theresa May insinuated that the landing papers’ destruction had been decided before the Conservatives entered office. There was only one problem - it was a complete lie. A point of order by Dawn Butler MP revealed that that the insinuation was baseless: the decision to destroy the documents was approved by the Home Office when Theresa May was home secretary, though she continues to insist that she had no personal involvement in the process. A No.10 spokesman insisted that: “In Oct.2010, the operational decision was taken in relation to the specific registry slips themselves. The PM was not involved in this process, this was an operational decision taken by UK Border Agency.” This follows earlier blame shifting by Culture secretary Matt Hancock, in which implied that the deportations were the fault of civil servants. Twitter thread The Red Robin. See also HuffPost
  • Apr.16.2018: UK removed legal protection for Windrush immigrants in 2014. The govt quietly removed a key protection from the statute books for some British residents of the Windrush generation who could face deportation. The Home Office said the clause was not included in the 2014 Immigration Act because adequate protections were already in place for people who were initially granted temporary rights to remain in the UK and have stayed for decades. The Labour party, lawyers and charities are urging the govt to reinstate the clause to ensure all longstanding Commonwealth residents are protected from enforced removal, not just those who have gained “settled” status. The onus is on individuals to prove they were resident in the UK before Jan.01.1973, the date the 1971 Immigration Act came into force. However, a key clause from 1999 legislation, which had provided longstanding Commonwealth residents with protection from enforced removal, was deleted from the 2014 Immigration Act. The govt did not announce the removal of this clause, nor did it consult on the potential ramifications. Twitter thread Diane Taylor, The Guardian.
  • Apr.09.2018: When a minister brings the pack of dogs (Video). Yesterday housing minister Dominic Raab, in an interview with The Sunday Times, warned that immigration has pushed up house prices by 20% over the last 25 years, providing zero evidence for it. Doing so at this time is not just dog whistling, it's a minister bringing the pack of dogs himself. Prof Tanja Bueltmann, Vimeo.com.
  • Mar.27.2018: Everyone should read the Migration Advisory Committee's first report into the UK labour market and Brexit to dispel some dangerous myths. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) interim report into the effects of Brexit on immigration commissioned by Home Secretary Amber Rudd is out today. European workers in general do NOT take British jobs. They do NOT drive down wages or undercut minimum wages. They are less inclined to come to the UK in the current climate. Our economy is set to suffer if fewer arrive to work here. This could also lead to shrinking populations in some regions of the UK. In Jul.2017, Rudd commissioned the MAC to report on the current and likely future patterns of EEA migration and the impacts of that migration on the UK. The intention is to provide an evidence base for the design of a new post-Brexit migration system. Ben Gelblum, The London Economic.
  • Mar.22.2018: Theresa May refuses to intervene over man's £54,000 NHS cancer bill. Theresa May has refused to intervene in the case of Albert Thompson, the London cancer patient asked to pay £54,000 for treatment despite having lived in the UK for 44 years. Thompson, 63, is not receiving the radiotherapy treatment he needs for prostate cancer because he has been unable to provide officials with sufficient documentary evidence showing that he has lived in the UK continuously since arriving from Jamaica as a teenager in 1973. May said responsibility for the decision to charge lay with the Royal Marsden hospital. Regulations introduced Oct.2017 require NHS hospitals to check patients’ paperwork, including passports and proof of address, and charge upfront for their healthcare if they do not have documentary proof of eligibility, unless the treatment is deemed to be urgent. The Royal Marsden has repeatedly said that Thompson’s radiotherapy was not urgent. This surprises some prostate cancer specialists, who are puzzled why treatment prescribed for cancer can subsequently be deemed non-urgent, once the question of ability to pay is raised. Research released this week by Migration Observatory suggests there could be up to 57,000 people potentially vulnerable to similar problems. Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian.
  • Mar.16.2018: MPs back refugee family reunification bill. MPs have backed a bill that would allow child refugees to sponsor close relatives to join them in the UK, though the govt has said it will oppose the legislation at a later stage. The Commons voted in favour of the Scottish National party MP Angus MacNeil's refugee family reunification bill at its second reading, and it will now move to committee stage. The Immigration minister Caroline Nokes has said the govt does not support the measures in the bill and is likely to block it. The Guardian.
  • Mar.11.2018: Boris Johnson clashes with Emmanuel Macron over Brexit. Foreign secretary hits back at French president’s invitation to Indian students, boasting of numbers coming to UK. Johnson tweeted in reply: "We are proud too to have more than 14,000 Indian students coming to the UK in 2017 – up a quarter over last year – choosing the home of the greatest universities, including four of the global top ten". The Guardian, Peter Walker
  • Mar.08.2018: Misleading documentaries about ethnic minority communities have a profound effect on both their subjects and audience. In the past five years, a swarm of documentaries about migrants has flooded our television screens, invading our living rooms and taking over our evenings. Sunder Katwala, director of thinktank British Future. The New Statesman, Anoosh Chakelian
  • Feb.09.2018: Lack of migrant workers left food rotting in UK fields last year, data reveals. Brexit fears and falling pound left fruit and vegetable farms short of more than 4,300 workers, according to new survey data from the National Farmers Union (NFU). Senior MPs are warning of a crisis. The government, which has pledged to reduce immigration, has so far rejected calls to reinstate a seasonal agricultural workers scheme (Saws). Facing uncertainty over labour, some farmers have begun moving their production overseas. The Guardian, Damian Carrington
  • Sept.27.2018: I completely agree with Rachel Reeves - immigration must be controlled. Labour is finally addressing it. Rachel Reeves @Socialist Voice, '
  • 2018.01.22: Yesterday, John McDonnell on @MarrShow happily spun long debunked falsehoods about the link btwn FoM/migration and depressed wages >> emphasises that we urgently need to stop talking about migration, and start *debating* it properly. ClioDiaspora >> YouTube, Marr Interview
  • Jan.16.2018: NHS doctors blocked from coming to work in the UK. Doctors who have been offered jobs by NHS hospitals desperate to fill rota gaps are being blocked from coming to the UK by the Home Office because visa quotas for non-EU immigrants set seven years ago are already full. iNews, Paul Gallagher
  • Jan.08.2018: Immigration to the UK surged (net migration reached a record level of 336,000 in 2015), older voters in particular revolted against open borders. The 2017 British Social Attitudes survey later found that the UK had the largest generation gap of any European country over immigration (like Britain, Sweden did not impose transitional controls on migration from eastern Europe in 2004) was in 2nd place). Nearly 50% of those aged between 18 and 29 believed that immigration had “a positive impact on the economy”, compared with just 29% of those aged over 70. New Statesman, George Eaton
  • 2017: World Migration Report 2018: Chapter 8 - Media reporting of migrants and migration. Rob McNeil, the deputy director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, McNeil, who co-authored "Media reporting of migrants and migration" of the International Organisation for Migration's 2018 World Migration Report, defends some of these programmes for giving immigration a human face (Mar.08 News Statesman article). International Organisation for Migration, '
  • Jun.01.2017: The Facts: Immigration. The way we talk about immigration has become poisonous. Immigration targets have been set and missed, while many politicians fail to recognise how essential migrants are for our economy and the effect of anti-immigration narratives on our communities. Here are some key facts about immigration in the UK. (very pro-immigration arguments) CLASS, '